Our June AD Member of the month, the coveted accolade goes to none other than long-distance legend and all-around great guy Justin Hanby. This year Justin took part in the Great Keppel Island Swim, but just getting to the event was itself an adventure taking two planes, busses, and ferries just to get to the start line.
The swim is a 20-kilometre circumnavigation of the island. After two days of 60+ km/h gusts and 100 millimetres of rain prior to the arrival, the weather blew over and left the swimmers with clear skies over a picturesque and barely inhabited island surrounded by white sands and 17-degree water – not quite the tropical 22 degrees the swimmers were hoping for!
The weather left its mark and prevailing windy conditions forced the organizers to restrict the course to one side of the island. You could perhaps call this edition the “part way around Keppel swim”.
Those with wetsuits whipped them out on the morning of the event and greased up the edges for what was to be a slightly shambolic but absolutely picturesque “Plan B” swim: departing the famous Spit on Putney beach, out to the northeasternmost point of the island and back (with a loop here and there if you were astute enough to hit the right markers).
The “unofficial” finishing places (in the words of the organizers) saw Tattersalls’ master long-distance swimmer Justin Hanby finishing inside the top five (out of 80 entrants). This is a huge achievement and a true reflection of the time and effort Justin has put into his training over the last few years (as per our insider knowledge, it could’ve been a top-three finish if not for some poor directions and decisions by race officials).
To respond to the course map drastically changing, race conditions not being what was planned, and a few more spanners in the works, show how just how determined and switched on Justin is with his training and race day preparations.
Our heartiest Congratulations on your big win Justin. He is now in the running for Sports Person of the Year 2022.